Factors to motivate employees daily

Employees appear to do best when there is a trusted relationship at work. It should include meaning and purpose, positive challenges, innovation and some risk-taking.

Manly Bands relocates headquarters to Utah, opens in Vineyard

Manly Bands, an online retailer of unique men’s wedding bands, announced Monday it has relocated its headquarters to Utah, and is opening a fulfillment warehouse and “man cave” showroom in Vineyard.

When Manly Bands founders Johnathan Ruggiero and Michelle Luchese were preparing for their wedding, they visited a jewelry store to find a men’s wedding band and found bands were only offered in plain gold or white gold and would have to be custom ordered, not arriving in time for their wedding. In addition to a lack of individuality, the largest ring size they could find in the store was a size 12. Ruggiero wears a size 16.

The couple’s frustration inspired them to create Manly Bands, a store that caters to guys with big hands and fingers who want a wedding band that fits their personality and style.

Originally, Ruggiero and Luchese founded Manly Bands out of their Florida garage in late 2016. Since then, Manly Bands has gained more than 70,000 customers and now boasts over 40,000 rings in 233 different styles, with plans to introduce another 40-50 styles.

Ruggiero and Luchese bought an RV last year and explored the country, including Utah, where they fell in love with the state and decided they wanted to put down roots for them and their business.

“We are definitely more mountains and lakes people than Florida beach,” Ruggiero said. “Utah has been incredible so far and we are absolutely thrilled to build the Manly Bands brand here.”

Provo company finds 80% of employees duck tough conversations

A new poll from Provo-based VitalSmarts, a top 20 leadership training company, found more than 80% of employees are avoiding at least one “scary” or tough conversation that they need to have at work.

In a poll with 529 respondents, conducted by Joseph Grenny, coauthor of “Crucial Conversations,” and Justin Hale of VitalSmarts, 1 in 4 people were found to have put off their tough conversation for six months, 1 in 10 put it off for an entire year, and another 1 in 10 admitted to avoiding the conversation for more than two years.

According to a press release about the poll, respondents generally said they didn’t speak up because they lacked confidence. One in five said they’re not at all confident they’ll be successful in holding the needed conversation, as opposed to only one in 10 who say they are extremely confident they’ll be successful in holding a scary conversation.

Besides just putting off a conversation that needs to be had, the poll found people will instead resort to other counterproductive and occasionally destructive behaviors to avoid it. Fifty percent of employees avoid the other person they need to talk to at all costs, 37% “dance around” the topic whenever they speak to the person, and another 37% consider quitting their job or taking a different job, while 11% actually quit their job. The most common topic people feared talking about is another person’s workplace performance.

Grenny and Hale provided six tips to overcome the fear and have important, tough conversations: talk face-to-face and in private, assume the best of others, use tentative language, share facts not conclusions, ask for their view, and use equal treatment.

“Scary conversations are crucial conversations,” Grenny said.“In these moments, most people run the other way because experience tells them the other person will be angry or defensive. And yet, our research shows the select few who know how to speak up candidly and respectfully—no matter the scary topic—can solve problems while also preserving relationships.”

Utah’s Employers Council releases 2019 benefits survey results

Utah’s Employers Council announced the results of its 2019 Utah Health, Welfare and Plan Survey at the end of September. The survey found the average premium for single (employee only) coverage increased 16% since 2016, to $567.

According to a press release, the survey is designed to help Utah employers determine how their benefit offerings compare to the marketplace. The most recent survey includes data segregated by private, public and non-profit sectors for health, dental, life, short-term disability and long-term disability insurance.

“Overall, the survey reveals that Utah employers continue to see increasing costs to their health insurance plans,” said Ryan D. Nelson, president of Employers Council’s Utah office. “The survey reveals valuable data to help Utah employers determine how their benefit offerings compare to the marketplace. This data enables employers to make strategic decisions with certainty and accuracy.”

In addition to the increase in single employee-only coverage, the survey found the average employer contribution to an employee’s HSA account when enrolled in an single, employee-only high deductible health plan is $633 per year, up $18 since last year; 95% of respondents encourage incentives to participate in a wellness program; and 79% of Utah respondents offer a preferred provider organization and 83% offer a high deductible health plan. The percentage of health coverage paid by employer for single employee-only coverage is 80%, the same as last year.

The survey also includes monthly premium amounts for health and dental insurance, cost sharing for those insured benefits, as well as retirement benefits, STD, LTD, and part-time employee insured benefits. Responses from 76 Utah organizations are included with data breakouts such as company size, geographic area and industry type. Learn more by visiting http://www.employerscouncil.org/.

Carley Porter covers northern Utah County and business for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at cporter@heraldextra.com.

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